Archive for the ‘Watches’ Category

The New Black. And the Other New Black.

Friday, November 29th, 2013

If you happen to have read our original post on the revolutionary Mutewatch, you’d know that this design-conscious timepiece is not only a sleekly styled, conversation-worthy accessory, but also a practical everyday wristwatch, complete with alarm, timer and USB-charging port. Plus a touchscreen interface and glowing, on-off LED display. And while we might trumpet about the perfect synchronicity of form and functionality, it can’t. Because it’s mute. Silent. Noise free. Even in alarm mode.

For the last six months it’s been available at Swipe – the only Mutewatch retailer in Canada – in Poppy Red and Charcoal Grey. Both bold, both beautiful.

So what’s next? (Drum roll.) Enter Svart. This special-edition black (svart) Mutewatch comes with geometric gold detailing and a kaleidoscopically inspired gift box. Created in collaboration with Swedish artist Jesper Nyrén, it draws on the connections between shape and content, nature and architecture: “I have started with thoughts about time and repetition,” explains Nyrén, producing a design “based on crystalline shapes that are repeated, mirrored and shift in different colours.” Just released, it’s gorgeous and ultimately giftable.

And if you’re pining for basic black, but ornamentation is not your thing, no need to worry. Another new addition, Pure Black, has also joined its red and grey siblings in the classic Mutewatch.

All four styles can be purchased at Swipe. Quantities are limited, so call or email to secure yours.

Mutewatch (Poppy Red, Charcoal Grey or Pure Black): $299.95
Mutewatch Svart by Jesper Nyrén: $329.95

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To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or email us at info@swipe.com.

What Was That Sound? Not This Watch.

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

It’s sleek, it’s chic, and best of all, it won’t make embarrassing noises in public. In fact, it won’t make any sound at all. Mutewatch is just that: gorgeously silent.

The love child of Mutewatch company partner Johan Thelander and industrial design consultancy Norra Norr, this Swedish-designed timepiece artfully conceals function behind form. The LED display is invisible unless motion activated; the flat screen is also a touch screen, allowing you to tap and swipe through the functions for clock, alarm and timer with ease; and the alarm noiselessly (but effectively) vibrates, so you can wake yourself up or stay time-savvy without annoying those around you.

Want more cleverness? There are no fiddly batteries to insert or replace. Just plug in the included USB connector, charge for a couple of hours, and Mutewatch runs happily for around a week.

Made from a strong, flexible TPU, it features an adjustable “one size” wristband (it fits wrists from 14 cm to 18.5 cm), and the company even offers firmware upgrades to keep you and your Mutewatch up to the minute.

Swipe is thrilled to be the very first Canadian retailer to stock this work of art, which now graces wrists from New York, to Copenhagen, to Dubai. We have limited stock available in Charcoal Grey and Poppy Red, priced at $299.95.

Come by when you’re next in downtown Toronto and have a look. We’ll even let you touch it.

Mutewatch: $299.95

After 20 years I discovered that design is just language and the real issue is what you use that language to say. – TK

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

Tastes change. Movements and ideas that once seemed sublime, when seen through the lens of time, often appear ridiculous … or not. Happily, the design and the professional practice of Tibor Kalman continue to offer inspiration to any young designer well enough informed to be familiar with his work. In the early 1980s Kalman, and his New York City design practice M&Co, pioneered the ‘no compromise, no apology’ approach to design that so many small studios now aspire to. More than a decade before the fashionable design manifestos of the late ’90s, M&Co consistently created iconoclastic, progressive and culturally relevant work driven foremost by the designer’s personal values (we will consider the formidable cultural contributions of his partner Maira Kalman in a separate post). As Editor-in-Chief of the Benetton™ magazine Colors, Kalman created a body of work that is among the most powerful in American graphic design history, before he was forced to leave by his (ultimately-fatal) non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 1995. Kalman was also the prototypical design entrepreneur and produced a series of subtle product designs under the M&Co brand, a few of which are still in production from the Museum of Modern Art and Projects™ of Bedford, Mass.

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M&Co Wristwatches

? 1984: Tibor Kalman, Maira Kalman & Alexander Isley

Originally conceived as a line for ‘80 design retailer Sointu, the M&Co watch line was quickly brought in-house and became the most identifiable product bearing the M&Co brand. Watches were designed on a collaborative basis during studio downtime (thus the engraved motto “Waste Not a Moment”). The present versions are faithful reissues produced under license by Projects and feature a black electroplated aluminum case, Swiss quartz movement by ETA, a scratch-resistant mineral glass crystal, and a top-stitched, glove leather lined band with matching black buckle.

M&Co Askew Wristwatch: $147.95

Askew is typical of M&Co’s playful approach to the logic of analog time representation: as long as the familiar twelve is at the top of the dial, the location of the remainder of the numbers is irrelevant.

M&Co Ten-One-Four Wristwatch: $147.95

The first and most acclaimed of M&Co’s watch designs, Ten-One-Four again plays on the conventions of the watch face. From Maira’s sketchpad, the three random hours provide the minimum markings necessary to accurately pick out the time of day.

M&Co Bodoni Wristwatch: $147.95

The most traditional design to come out of the M&Co watch program, Bodoni celebrates the first great modern serif typeface design by Giambattista Bodoni in Parma, Italy in the late 18th century.

M&Co 5 O’Clock Wristwatch: $147.95

5 o’clock is the best time. Time to go for a drink. Time to go home. Time to see friends and family.

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M&Co Sky Umbrella

? 1992: Tibor Kalman

Introduced in 1992 and one of MoMA’s perpetual bestsellers, this witty umbrella sports an eternally cheerful sky designed by Tibor Kalman.

M&Co Sky Umbrella: $74.95

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M&Co Paperweights

? 1984: Tibor Kalman

A paperweight that empathizes with the fate of most of the paper it holds down. Made from rigid vinyl, silk screened and hand-crumpled so that no two are identical.

M&Co Paperweight, Legal Pad or Blueprint: $39.95

Unfortunately the excellent monograph Tibor Kalman: Perverse Optimist edited by Michael Bierut and Peter Hall for Princeton Architectural Press is, for the time being, unavailable. We have, for several months, hoped in vain for a swift reprint.

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To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at: info@swipe.com.

A French kiss – LIP watches are back!

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

French industrial design is under-represented here at Swipe. Not because we don’t try, mind you. It just that with the Euro the way it is we have to be careful how much European product we offer. Nothing wrong with $400 teapots as such, but that’s not what we are trying to do here. And so when compared with the sublime beauty of Scandinavian design, the lyrical recklessness of the Italians and the formal rigour of Germans, French designers seem to come up short. French industrial design has a history of stars and comets. The comets come and go and leave you wondering what all the fuss was about. The stars dominate thoroughly. Give that France is the largest net exporter in the E.U. you’d expect that the public here might know the name of even one French designer aside from Starck.

So we’re glad to be able at least to represent last generation’s star in the Swipe firmament with these extraordinary watches by Roger Tallon. Tallon, most notable as the designer of the TGV, visited us at the DX soon after the inaugural journey of the Eruostar linking London and Paris. His work for LIP in the seventies was contemporary without being merely fashionable. I spent the next 15 years wading through the debris that results from a canned search on E-Bay for “LIP” and “watch” (think Barbie lip-gloss/watch combos) trying to get my hands on one of Tallon’s watches, without any luck. Recently American watch manufacturer Nixon has done quite well for themselves with suggestively similar designs. Now (maybe a couple of years too late?) LIP has finally relaunched the series ($325 to $595).

Arguably, the most famous of these is this iconic Aluminum cased Chronograph, originally designed by Tallon in 1973, as part of the Mach 2000 series. The design is easily recognizable with its protruding multicolored crown and chronograph controls set inside the negative space of the asymmetric aluminum watch case.

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To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at: info@swipe.com.